Boost Dispensary Profits with a Frame Management System

By Massimo Gramanzini, OD

June 17, 2015


A comprehensive inventory tracking system, with specific goals for frame turnover, can turn your dispensary into a powerful profit center.


SET FRAME TURNOVER GOALS.Aimto turn over inventorytwice per year. Selling 2,000 frames annuallyrequires 1,000 frames in inventory.

ASSESS FRAME INVENTORY MONTHLY. Once a month, assess what has sold and how much is still in stock.

COMPUTERIZE INVENTORY. Use your practice management system, or another system, to keep a computerized frame inventory.

Eyewear accounts for two-thirds of revenues in most optometric practices, so smart management of frames inventory is critical to overall practice profitability.

A page on Dr. Gramanzini’s practice web site displays frame brands sold in the optical.The practicesystematically tracks frame inventory turnovermonth-by-month with a spread sheet.

Unfortunately, a busy practice easilycan lose track, or be disorganized about, the framessoldin the optical. To avoid that costly trap, my solo practice in south Floridatakes a systematic approach by setting specific targets for ideal product turnover.We instituteda system of tracking inventory regularly and applying data to fine-tune our inventory and sales.

Set Turnover Goals

Ideally, I like to see our inventory turn approximately two times per year. That means if you sell about 2,000 frames per year, youneed 1,000 frames in inventory. That number will fluctuate, but a good target range is between 1.8 to 2.2 turns of inventory per year.

Conduct “Stock Status Report”

We perform a “stock status report,” an inventory report, every month to monitor what we have in stock, what is selling and what needs to be reordered.

Commit to Brands

My staff and I believe that whatever brands you sell in your practice, you need to have a good selection within those brands. At least 30-40 pieces of each brand should be displayed. Anything less is not really going to catch a patient’s eye or show a commitment to the brand. Most importantly, make sure the brand is displayed as a group. This utilizes the “brand power” effect.

Computerize All Frame Inventory

Having your entire inventory computerized is essential to monitoring your frame inventory and being on top of any “shrinkage,” or theft. All frames that are delivered to our practice are immediately scanned into inventory. We have one person who is responsible for doing that.

Once a month, we perform our stock status report. We scan into our software each frame in the optical and then print a variance report, which will compare the physical scanned count in our inventorywith what our software says we should have in stock. On the variance report, we can clearly see if any frame is missing (right down to the company, brand, colorand size).

Create “Proposed Inventory” Spreadsheet

We have what is called a “proposed inventory'” spreadsheet. This spreadsheet acts as our map of the optical inventory. On the spreadsheet we enter in all of the brands we carry and the number of pieces we would like to display in our optical. At the end of each month, we compare our “proposed inventory” to our actual inventory, or “stock status,” which tells us how on target or far off we are for each brand. We use this information to schedule the appropriate frame reps to bring our inventory levels up to our “proposed inventory.”

MBA Barometer of FrameTurnover Rates

To compare your frameturnover rates with national norms, consult the chart “Frames Inventory and Turnover” on page 27 of the MBA Key Metrics: Assessing Optometric Practice Performance.

Annual turnover rates range from 1.1 at smaller practices to 2.8 at the largest practices, rated by revenues. Median frames turnover is 1.8 annually, with median practices having 850 frames in inventory and dispensing 1,634 complete pairs of spectacles, according to the MBA, which is sponsored by Essilor.–ROB Editors

This system also allows my optician to have a guide on which brands needreordering and how many pieces to order. It also allows the optician to be more confident and productive when meeting with reps because she knows exactly what the optical needs in order to reach our “proposed inventory” levels. It also allows the practice owner to delegate this important task with confidence, knowing that a concrete system is in place which will almost eliminate any unnecessary over-buying of inventory.

Create At-a-Glance Frame Organization

All of our frames are coded with the date the frame entered our optical. So, when our optician meets with reps, she can review each frame in the collection and exchange out any frames that have been sitting on the board for several months. This eliminates the need to place a frame on “sale” to get rid of it.

Frame inventory management is an integral part of having a successful and profitable optical. Once you have a system in place, it becomes very easy to track, manage and monitor your optical inventory–and increase your optical revenues.

Related ROB Articles

Boost Frame Sales: Have Staff Model the Top Styles
Embracing Electronic Eyewear at Retail
Embrace Online Eyewear–But Capture In-House Sales

Massimo Gramanzini, OD, is the owner of The Family Eye Center in Plantation, Fla. To contact him:

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